I’ve found myself in the wonderful “I can’t wait to get to the end” euphoria of my novel's third act, and it made me wonder, why was the middle such a chore? I’m pretty sure everyone knows about the boggy, soggy middle of a novel (and if not, go read about them here), but for me it’s something even more than that.
The middle is our time of flux, the world isn’t settled and our futures are uncertain. I hate that time. But when I read a book, I don’t mind so much. Mostly I don’t mind because it isn’t around for any length of time. There’s only a couple hours of reading and viola, out of the middle.
As a writer, this just isn’t the case.
When I get to the middle, I can be there for weeks or even months depending on the project. It’s like this curse that you experience the book so much faster reading it than when you’re writing it, and it distorts the way writers view their work. I think this is why we get into the middle of a novel and lose faith. It isn’t because our work is bad (even though it needs to be edited), it’s because we’ve been experiencing the novel for so long that we can’t imagine anyone else wanting to spend that much time on our novel as well. And that, luckily is why I’m here to tell you: No one will spend that much time on your novel. They’ll read it in a handful of hours (maybe longer, or maybe over days or weeks), but they aren’t going to spend quite so much time with it. So take heart, no one else will spend as long in the middle.
All right, I’m hoping you wrimos and revismos are all on track, and for everyone else, Happy Thanksgiving!